Tippets are ornamental strips of fabric attached to a band circling the upper arm. They appear to have evolved from a strip depending from the lower edge of a short sleeve overgarment to a separate fashion accessory. No mention of them appear in household accounts, wills or inventories, although references to them being stored between boards to keep them flat and uncreased can be found.

They appear to have been most popular between approximately 1340 until 1390, but they can be seen as late as 1415 in the Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry. Often thought of as a woman's accessory, they are frequently seen adorning the arms of fashionable men of the period.

Although always worn around the upper arm during the period of their popularity, the location of the streamer appears to migrate around the arm depending on local fashion or the whim of the wearer.

Predominently shown as plain and white in colour, some are clearly depicted as fur (ermine or vair), and the occasional red, blue or green examples can be found.

It is unclear how the tippet was kept in place. Pinning, invisible hooks or buttons are possibilities.  It is also possible that the band could have been sewn into a ring that slipped onto the arm.  With no clear evidence to guide us, we have chosen to offer the tippets Plain or with pearl buttons.

  • Plain allows you to sew on hooks, pin the tippets on or to sew the band into a tube.
  • The Button option comes with buttonholes worked into the band edge and 6 pearl buttons.  You can sew the buttons on yourself or choose to have us sew them on for an additional fee.

Developed with the point of view that they were decorative additions to the wardrobe which should be made of fancy fabric, our tippets are made of an easy care washable damask. The band and streamer are each 3" wide, and the streamer is approx 40" long. Measure your upper arm over the garment you wish to wear the tippets with to determine the size.  If in doubt, order the larger size.

  • One Size fits up to a 13" upper arm
  • Large fits up to an 18" upper arm

An album of period images depicting tippets in use can be found on the Black Swan Designs Facebook page TIPPETS

Historical Accuracy Rating

Starting at: $19.95

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  • Model: BSD-TIP-A
  • Shipping Weight: 0.5lbs

This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 22 January, 2014.